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Chapter Nine: Working Hypotheses on Social Dreaming

W. Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

It would be rash and omnipotent to outline a theory of social dreaming. What can be offered is a series of working hypotheses that have been substantiated repeatedly since 1982. What, therefore, exists is an emergent theory.

The dreams recounted in a matrix differ from other social contexts in that personal psychic factors are screened out by the dreamers. The dreams are social in that they are more firmly embedded in the environmental context of the dreamer.

The experience of social dreaming is an end in itself in that thinking is transformed. It becomes a transitional object in which all can participate. Communication through dreaming creates a spontaneous, free way of relating to what has been lost in modern societies. These are some of the initial working hypotheses that we have found useful in the work of social dreaming. 1

Is dreaming just junk?

Francis Crick—one of the discoverers of DNA—and Graeme Mitchison put forward the junk theory of dreams. They argued that during REM sleep, which is the evidence that dreaming is occurring during sleep, what is happening is that the brain's neocortex is bombarded by a series of bangs that emanate from the brainstem. These random bangs, Crick and Mitchison argue, shake lose the parasitic information that would otherwise clog up the brain. Therefore, dreams do not make sense and are junk to be discarded (Crick & Mitchison, 1983).

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CHAPTER FIVE: History, gender, and relating

Juliet Miller Karnac Books ePub

“The end of analysis coincides with the acceptance of femininity … the termination of analysis … coincides with the termination of misogyny, when we take Eve back into Adam's body, when we are no longer decided about what is masculine and what feminine, what inferior, what superior, what exterior, what interior”

(Hillman, 1992, p. 292)

The psychoanalytic world, in its beginnings in the early 1900s, was dominated by men. Both Freud and Jung developed T their new theories in the context of a history and a culture where women were expected to play out specific “female” roles. Despite the difficulties of being accepted into the new world of psychoanalysis, there were a few women who made an enduring mark in those early years. Melanie Klein followed in the wake of Freud and made a significant impact on the psychoanalytic community, spawning a theoretical school of her own. Toni Wolff, Marie-Louise Von Franz, and others took up Jung's work and developed it further. But it was only in the second half of the twentieth century that increasing numbers of women came into the psychoanalytic field. Many of these women therapists have opened up thinking about masculine and feminine and about roles and gender (Maguire, 2004; Ulanov, 2001; Woodman, 1992; Young-Eisendrath, 2004). These psychoanalysts and psychotherapists have attempted to influence a profession that was male dominated, but, more crucially, whose clinical theories were born from and built upon an androcentric perspective of the world. This perspective, which sees everything in the psychological arena from a male perspective and bases its theories on that viewpoint, has become one of the core problematic issues for the psychoanalytic community in the twenty-first century. As the Jungian and archetypal psychologist James Hillman suggests in the epigraph, the ongoing split and separation of masculine and feminine is at the heart of why we all need psychoanalysis in the first place. In this challenging statement Hillman does not see this split as a side issue, but as central to the health and creativity of all of us, both men and women.

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4. Symbolism and its relationship to the primary and secondary processes

Charles Rycroft Karnac Books ePub

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship of symbolic processes to ego-functioning. I have started by restating Freud’s initial formulation of the differences between the primary and secondary processes with special reference to Winni-cott and Milner’s concept of illusion (Section I). I have then gone on to suggest reasons why, in my opinion, it is not only misleading to restrict, as some writers do, the concept of symbolism to the use of symbols by the primary process, but also incompatible with Freud’s later views on the nature and development of the ego (Section II). In this section I have been much influenced by Milner arid Kubie, both of whom have written in favour of an extension of the classical analytical concept of symbolism. In the third and last section I have attempted to reformulate the theory of symbolism on the basis of the assumption that symbolization is a general capacity of the mind which is based on perception and which may be used either by the primary or the secondary process. My immense debt to Jones’s classic paper ‘The Theory of Symbolism’ (1916) will be obvious throughout, even when I take up a position diverging from his.

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Chapter Four: The Clinical Methodology

Michele Novellino Karnac Books ePub


The clinical methodology

Therapeutic plan and methodology

First of all, the difference between therapeutic plan and methodology has to be explained: the latter, in fact, refers to the clinical theory, which relates to the strategic phases in which the transactional theory can be applied to the psychotherapeutic setting, while the plan consists in the realisation of methodological principles in a particular clinical case (Novellino, 1998). Therefore:

• methodology is the theory underlying the techniques;

• therapeutic plan is the practice of the techniques.

Furthermore, psychotherapy, to keep itself within the boundaries of effectiveness, has to follow a method which takes into account the unique nature of the situation: the therapist, in fact, has to base his data, which he collects gradually, on this; it is precisely this collection of data and its deployment in coherent and demonstrable hypotheses which confers on psychotherapy its “scientific rigour” and “reproducibility”.

Therapeutic contract and analytic contract: operative differences

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CHAPTER SEVEN. Envy and narcissism

Joseph H. Berke Karnac Books ePub

As we have seen, three parts of the body, the breast, womb, and penis are the focus of the most intense destructive forces of human nature: envy, greed, and jealousy. Since envy is the most pernicious, and, indeed, amplifies the impact of all other forms of negativity, it is useful to explore the origins and ramifications of envy in greater detail.

Writing in The Metaphysics of Morals in 1785, the philosopher Immanuel Kant had no qualms about describing envy as “the vice of human hate”, a moral incongruity that delights in misfortune. He believed envy was a “hate that is the complete opposite of human love” and concluded: “The impulse for envy is thus inherent in the nature of man, and only its manifestation makes of it an abominable vice, a passion not only distressing and tormenting to the subject, but intent on the destruction of the happiness of others, and one that is opposed to man’s duty towards himself as towards other people” (1785, p. 36).

Years later, when Sigmund Freud first began to consider intense malevolence, he considered that angry attacks on the world, and everything in it, were secondary to what he called “Eros”, or “the life instinct”. Then he reconsidered and concluded that destructive forces were equal in importance and power to life-enhancing ones, and that the “life instinct”, “Eros”, was opposed by a “death instinct”, called “Thanatos”.1 This view was strongly supported by his colleague, Melanie Klein. She wrote at length about the nature of envy and argued that envy is the earliest direct manifestation or externalisation of the “death instinct” (1957, op. cit.).

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